BLOG ROUND-UP: Why is DWR Helping Trump Weaken Bay-Delta Protections?; Vampire almonds!; Lowly water heaters can be mighty climate tools; and more …

Why is DWR Helping Trump Weaken Bay-Delta Protections? Doug Obegi writes, “Why is the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) collaborating with the Trump Administration to weaken protections for salmon and other endangered species in the Bay-Delta, even as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has strongly opposed these rollbacks, and the State announced in November that it will sue to invalidate the Trump Administration’s environmental rollback in the Bay-Delta?  Confused? So are we. It’s time for DWR to stop acting like a Trump Administration agency and get on board with the Newsom Administration. ... ”  Read more from the NRDC here: Why is DWR Helping Trump Weaken Bay-Delta Protections?

Vampire almonds!  Families Protecting the Valley writes, “The article below explains how almond growers are ‘struggling’ to overcome their ‘vampire’ image problem.  We get it.  Almond farmers are likened to vampires because they suck water out of the ground like vampires suck blood out of their victims.  Remember when people liked farmers?  So do we, but there has been a concentrated effort by environmentalists to demonize farmers because of their water use.  And they’ve done a pretty good job of it.  Farmers haven’t been used to defending themselves.  Who would have thought they’d have to?  … ”  Read more from Families Protecting the Valley here: Vampire almonds! 

As water agencies balk at the tunnel’s price tag, DWR turns to a desperate ransom strategy: taking water from non-payers that is not attributable to the $10+ billion tunnel:  “Since July, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and State Water Contractors have engaged in fruitless negotiations over how to pay for a single-tunnel Delta Conveyance Facility (DCF is the new term now that the twin-tunnel “WaterFix” is gone). On December 23, right before the holidays, DWR made their 6th proposal to the State WaterContractors with a major shift in approach.  Two things are apparent from the new proposal … ”  Read more from the Valley Economy blog here: As water agencies balk at the tunnel’s price tag, DWR turns to a desperate ransom strategy: taking water from non-payers that is not attributable to the $10+ billion tunnel

Delta tunnel: Notice of Preparation is not the beginning of work on the project:  Dierdre Des Jardins writes, “Today, January 15, 2020, the California Department of Water Resources released the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the Environmental Impact Report for the single tunnel project.  But engineering design of the single tunnel project has been ongoing since last May, as a continuation of previous design work for the WaterFix project. … ”  Continue reading at the California Water Research blog here: Delta tunnel: Notice of Preparation is not the beginning of work on the project

CSPA and allies oppose another DWR Delta boondoggle:  Chris Shutes writes, “CSPA and California Water Research submitted comments on January 6, 2020 opposing the analysis of the Department of Water Resources (DWR) of proposed future Delta operations.  The comments responded to DWR’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Long-Term Operation of the State Water Project.[1]  The California Water Impact Network and AquAlliance were also on these comments of “CSPA et al.”  DWR’s DEIR analyzes alternatives for rules under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) that would govern future Delta operations of the State Water Project.  These rules will be established in an “Incidental Take Permit,” similar to a Biological Opinion (BiOp) under the federal Endangered Species Act. ... ”  Read more from the CSPA blog here:  CSPA and allies oppose another DWR Delta boondoggle

Newsom administration’s Water Resilience Portfolio puts California on course to climate resilience:  Ann Hayden writes, “It is encouraging that one of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first actions in 2020 was the Jan. 3 release of the much-anticipated Water Resilience Portfolio.  While Newsom has been forced to address climate change on many fronts during the past year – think wildfires, blackouts and automobile standards – the state’s myriad water challenges must remain a priority. Our state’s water system is decades old and needs to be re-envisioned for a new era. … ”  Read more from the Growing Returns blog here: Newsom administration’s Water Resilience Portfolio puts California on course to climate resilience

California can make lowly water heaters mighty climate tools:

A rising Lake Mead? Or just hovering around a new elevation line: John Fleck writes, “A member of the Colorado River brain trust argues that when you use reservoir elevation to define an action level of some sort, the reservoir remarkably ends up hovering around that level. The updated annual USBR Lake Mead elevation chart, just published with the 2019 data, nicely illustrates their point. … ”  Read more from the Inkstain blog here: A rising Lake Mead? Or just hovering around a new elevation line

EPA flunks Science 101 with its dirty water rule: Jon Devine writes, “The Trump administration’s plan to radically restrict which water bodies are protected by the Clean Water Act is “simplistic.” It “neglects established science,” introduces “substantial new risks to human and environmental health,” and excludes water bodies that pose a “serious threat to public health and safety.” Furthermore, the rule may “not fully meet the objectives” of the law.  That’s not me or some other environmental advocate talking. Those quotations are from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board, which is composed of scientists appointed by Trump’s EPA leaders. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here: EPA flunks Science 101 with its dirty water rule

Trump’s Interior Department doesn’t care what you think:  Paul Rauber writes, “You always suspected it was true, but here comes the Center for Western Priorities with the receipts. Its analysts looked at proposed rule changes by the Interior Department since 2017 that garnered more than 500 comments and found 10—all rollbacks of existing environmental protections. In each one, more than 95 percent of the public comments opposed the changes. In eight out of those 10, the Interior Department went ahead with the new rule anyway. … ” Read more from Sierra Magazine here: Trump’s Interior Department doesn’t care what you think

About the Blog Round-up: The Blog Round-up is a weekly journey through the wild and varied tapestry of blog commentary, incorporating the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes just plain bizarre viewpoints existing on the internet. Viewpoints expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily my own; inclusion of items here does not imply my endorsement of their positions. Items are chosen to express a wide range of viewpoints, and are added at the editor’s discretion. While posts with obvious factual errors are excluded, please note that no attempt is made on my part to verify or fact check the information bloggers present, so caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

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